Big US corporates slashed political donations after Trump's claims of election fraud

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Feb 21, 2021, 02.00 PM(IST)

Donald Trump in Miami town hall Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

After his defeat in US Presidential elections 2020, Donald Trump had falsely claimed that the election was rigged and continued making allegations without presenting any evidence

Ten big US corporations slashed donations to candidates seeking federal office by more than 90 per cent in January. This followed after they pledged to not donate to Republican Party lawmakers who supported former US President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn his election defeat. After his defeat in US Presidential elections 2020, Donald Trump had falsely claimed that the election was rigged and continued making allegations without presenting any evidence. These culminated in a violent attack by his supporters on US Capitol building on January 6.

None of the political action committees of 10 major companies reviewed by Reuters, including Microsoft Corp, Walmart Inc, AT&T Inc and Comcast Corp, donated to any of the 147 congressional Republicans who voted to support Trump's claims just hours after his supporters launched a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Disclosures to the Federal Election Commission ahead of a Saturday filing deadline showed the group of corporate PACs affiliated with those 10 companies made $13,000 in new donations to candidates in January. The reports were the first by the PACs to detail contributions made since the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

The money donated during the month was less than one-tenth the roughly $190,000 the 10 company PACs gave candidates in January 2017, and tiny relative to the roughly $10 million donated to candidates during the 2019-2020 election season. The 147 lawmakers who voted to overturn President Joe Biden's victory had received more than $2 million from those 10 PACs during the last two-year political cycle.

Only committees tied to two of the companies - General Electric Co and American Express Co - reported any new giving to federal candidates in January.

American Express' PAC gave $5,000 to Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota, while GE's gave $5,000 to Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a prominent Republican Trump critic, and $1,000 to Representative Rick Larsen of Washington, a Democrat.

It is true that political donations slows down in months after US presidential elections and money from corporate political action committees is a small slice of the funds raised by political campaigns.

However, the sudden and marked slump in political donations after incidents in January points to slower start to political donations as strategising for 2022 midterm election begins.

While more than a thousand PACs are associated with corporate America, the 10 reviewed by Reuters include major companies which made clear public statements that they would throttle back donations following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

(With Reuters inputs)

Read in App